All 14 entries tagged Rdm

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April 22, 2012

…sunday special

It is Sunday, cannot imagine someone would be working today (of course not in service sector).

I called up my friend,...turned out she has on-call duty today, anyway, .....she told me that it is such a hectic day for her as a couple of million dollar was lost, after only 8 hours of her employer's computer system went down since the business operation really relied on the system.

The root cause, was due to the server upgrade project which was planned months ahead, but when it didn't work out as it should be.
All the technicians spent all the efforts trying to fix the problems because they had no clue of what to do if the upgrade hadn't gone as planned. They only knew how to go forward,..... but somehow forgot to give any attention on how to step backward safely to the origin without falling.

As previously mentioned, RDM has not been my company.
so, I only know how to go forward when deciding on my education.
I don't have any backup plan of if I flunk this, what would be the next step besides tumbling down the hill, into a pool of quicksand and start sinking slowly.

What is more robust? planning to make a firm move forward to minimise failure or planning for possible worst case?
or maybe the combination of both ;D

April 21, 2012

…paradox of decision–making

I have never made a robust decision before,
through all my life, whenever I reach crossroad, I always leave it up to destiny.

If I had known about decision-making tools, my life would have been different.
I would make sure that every step I take is firm and that no matter what happens I would not regret.

I would have been more prepared than this, and I would have thought of my choice and its consequences more carefully and critically.

Decision-making tools make us think logically, anyhow, we are all capable of thinking rationally but we are only human and sometimes subjected to psychological traps,.....instead of using our gut feeling, the tools help us turn to a scientific way when dealing with decisions.

But if I were using decision-making tool for my education choice, I would have been somewhere else, and thus, I would not be introduced with decision-making tools in the first place.

hahaha confusing,..just like time machine paradox.

…oh Italian

A certain information technology project was called off after the company injected close to a hundred million dollars and wasted over 4 years of their resources.
The main reason behind the cancellation was that they couldn't withstand the constant changes of Italian regulations on running energy business and could no longer forecast the upcoming ones;
one change in Italian law can results in a major computer system enhancement which is also, costly.

Thus, it's better for the company to cut a finite lost, in order to not to spend who knows how much more. (I'm talking about a multi-billion dollar company in which a hundred millions could have been only what they spend on an annual cost of stationaries.)

I guess this is where the unpredictable factor became too unpredictable which collapsed all the good plans generated by RDM tools.

Anyway, congratulations to the company, least they did not fall into decision trap,....hahaha SUNK COST

April 20, 2012


The recent earth quake and tsunami warning in the south Pacific brought me back to late 2004,
where several hundred-thousands of lives were washed away by the giant waves.
At that time, Thailand did not have the slightest clue of that they could be potentially hit by tsunami so there was absolutely no warning system whatsoever.
After the event, several pundits came out, criticizing the government for not listening to their warning of the disaster.

Even if scenario planning was used whether the tsunami warning system should be implemented along the coast of Thailand, I was not sure of the outcome. For several centuries of recorded history, there's never been such phenomena.

How would a group of people come up with scenario that may or may not happen?
A good blend of knowledgable people in decision-making group? Creativity?

Given the fact that tsunami naver hit Thailand before, and no history data, how would anyone consider about preventing it?

April 19, 2012


Just came across an article capturing comments from foreigners working in Thailand with Thai people.

They mentions that there are 10 working habits that hold them back from career advance, and one of those are "unable to make robust decision, and thus, they tend to react to problem rather than being proactive."

Indeed it would save time and prevent the spread of damage if one is to make robust decision that take into account noises and uncertainty, at least the problems are foreseen and some preventive measures could be in place.

What would make a manager get into a habit of using techniques and decision-making tools when he has to make decisions?

April 18, 2012

…who should be hired?

Chelsea FC forked out a substantial amount of money hiring a manager whom was believed to be capable of turning around the club's poor results in the previous season, only to be fired 8 months later after a series of defeat and jeopardizing unity among players.
I think the manger was hired based on his previous successes during his reign at his former club (bias), on a very nice cv has was possessing.

What about executive positions in a company, positions which are critical in making big decisions?
Is there any difference in the selection progress when it comes to hiring a clerk?
Of course there must be some differences but to my understanding, the criteria are based on the past success embedded in the curriculum vitae which does not always guarantee the same success.

Where would RDM fit into this?

what is a good decision-making tool for judging people?

April 17, 2012

…artist and decision making

Do the Hollywoods movie studios use RDM, before investing a hundred of million dollars on a movie?
I wonder how could they forecast whether a movie was going to be a hit or turn out to be a flop since the preference of the audiences varies and to me, unpredictable.
Disney must have done some analysis before spending over 250 million dollars on John Carter, a movie which I'd never thought of watching, after seeing a trailer, which according to CNN report, will cause the studio a staggering operating lost between 80 to 120 millions.

what would be good decision-making tools for Disney then?

Do they only have a theme or a rough idea of what movie they will be making?

Would it possible for them to employ decision-making techniques to define their thoughts and arrive at an answer to what exactly the movie they're going to produce.

it is hard, isn't it?

Creativity and imagination are things that should not be bound by any condition, I believe artists can produce the best of works when they are not confined by anything.

April 12, 2012

…easy way out

One of the reason people could not be bothered to employ decision-making tools is that they are lazy,
simple as that, because it seems like complex tools gives us more accurate and credible soulution than the simple ones.

Take simple grid analysis for example, it is a straightforward tool that requires less effort than say...SMART and AHP.
So I think the seriousness of problem and severity of consequences dictate decision makers' choice of tools.

Does that sound like we are not making a robust decision if we were to use simple tools that leave big space for incorrectness and unreliability?

March 29, 2012

…stupid inequality

One of my friend is working in a global orgainization, meaning that people under one department are located in several cities (in this case, Bangkok, Budapest and Curitiba).
A while ago, each location was given a budget, equally in amount, to organize team-building activitiy.
My friend was appointed into the team-building committee, organizing a two day and one night trip to the beach near by, staying at a decent 3 stars hotel instead of having everything done in one day as it used to be.

However, the proposal was not approved by the big boss. As she was told, the reason behind the rejection was because in the same budget, the colleagues in Hungary and Brazil were not able to pull off an overnight team-building.
Thus, Bangkok employees were only allowed to have a one-day teambuilding activity.

Did the boss show a good quality of leadership by not approving Bangkok employees from having an overnight event in order not to create any inequal feelings to the employees based in another two locations?

To me, he (the boss) limited the employee's good initiatives; when his subsidiaries were able to come up with something creatives, out of the box and likely to promote the team unity (amoung Bangkok employees), I don't think using the term 'creating unequal working atmosphere' is really applicable under this circumstance.

Yes, my friend went berserk over the

March 11, 2012

Bystander effect

Group Thinking makes me think about Bystander Effect;a social psycholigical phenomenon that refers to cases where individuals do not offer any means of help in an emergency situation to the victim when other people are present (wikipedia, 2012).

This is due to some sore of justificstion of individual in the situation under social influence. People witnessing emergency situation and hesitate to offer help because they observe that there are other people who also bystanders that do not take any action.

It is very easy to be swayed by majority's idea when you are uncertain about something and especially very hard to think critically for yourself when a team or a group of people had established that majority's idea is right and make a gesture that anyone else should not have any other ideas that go against it.

However, in team decision making, another big obstacle is to get everyone heard and to get every idea a chance to be considered. Our minds tend to be closed for something new or something else that doesn't go along with what we believe.
And democracy in team's decision making can hinder bias towards siding with majority, thus, voting for decision is not always a good solution to make robust decision. Anchoring decision making tools in the process will help identify factors relevant to decision and generate solid information to minimise bias in judgement.

How many times this group thinking goes unnoticed in an organisation..???

March 10, 2012

Lego,..good investment?

I couldn’t believe old lego set could be so expensive.
I remember drooling at a lego shop, couldn’t keep my hands off of the star wars lego set called ‘the millennium falcon’ retailed at about 310 GBP,....
yes,..... that was expensive but it was the largest lego ever produced back then.
In the end, I came home empty-handed, believing I was going to pay too much for the toys.

Three years later after playing much with city lego and village lego, Star Wars lego has become a dream toy, and the millenium faclon is the one I have my eyes on.

However, the set can be purchased via online market only, and the price for a brand new set is staggering at the minimum of 1,200 GBP, but the 2ndhanded one can be bought at around 420 GBP.
Meanwhile, lego also released two new sets: a superstar destroyer and an imperial shuttle at a combination of 420 GBP.
I’d love to lay my hands on all sets, but my pocket wasn’t quite big enough; which one should I go for?

I was thinking of getting the 2ndhand falcon, but how could I ensure that all the pieces could be accounted for?
How could I be sure that the tiny plastic pieces are not contaminated with diseased and it’s possible that the set could have been a third-forth handed.

Nevertheless, in my limited budget, If I decided to go for the new sets over falcon, of course at the retailed price, I would get something totally brand new and they would be only mine,
and that means it will take me quite sometime to save up for falcon, and till that time the price of the falcon could keep on skyrocketing until it’s far out of my reach.

In turn, the price of the new set could have ballooned up too, if not now, so things became much more complicated as there’re way too many factors to consider.

So Time is crutial, Millenium falcon went from 310 GBP to 1,200 GBP in not many years times.
It is important that time must be taken into account when making a decision, as well as depreciation and future value.
Now with lego, it is harder to predict its future value, since some of them are more valued and expensive while some sets aren't.
In this case, market research and statistical data would be the best thing to rely on; what kind of lego sets are likely to be more expensive in the future, what set would be in demand, will lego company has a plan to produce more of that particular set in the future.

In the end, good decision should be made with enough information, as thorough as it could be.

…more than numbers

I was not in a rush, but somehow I manage to leave my laptop charger at an airline lounge while heading to the united states. Thus, my laptop couldn’t be used for any other purpose besides an oversized paper weight and in order to unbore myself, I really need to get a replacement.

The authentic charger is retailed at 79.00 usd plus tax; to me, that’s a bit too expensive despite the fact that the unit will come in a good condition, unused and stored in a proper condition. In addition, it comes with a warranty and returnable.
Thus, I started looking for an alternative; ebay.comwas my next stop.

The website had a variety of chargers, a replica one would cost as little as 20 usd, the used authentic one was a bit higher at 30 usd and the new authentic one they advertised was at 45 usd. The only problem is that despite having a 14 days warranty, the unit was not sold by the authorized dealer and it wasn’t packed in a sales box so there was no guarantee that the charger was as good as advertised.

Considering that my laptop is 3 years old and about to run out of its life cycle, investing 79.00 usd could have been a bit too pricey even though I can rest assure my laptop would be properly powered so I took a gamble by getting the one online with almost 50% off the retailed price despite acknowledging that the product might not be functioning, but considering the odd that most of the fake charger being circulated in Bangkok markets are working fine (probablility must be about 0.85), the one I was going to buy should be working.
I also consider the possibility of having to spend another 79.00 on the retailed one if I wasn’t so lucky.

3 days later, the laptop charger arrived at my doorstep.....Could not believe that my luck fell into that 0.15 probablility, yes, I have to return the charger.

Indeed, financial aspect is not the only thing to concern in decision making, there are lost of opportunity/ time/ hassle/ complication that could cost you more.

Exmouth maybe more expensive but it has many other benefits than that; transportation route, lead time, future expansion, production capacity, etc., that is why our group is inclined that in a long run it will be proven a better option.

March 07, 2012

…which way?

Some decisions are so complex that even the best decision tools cannot help pinpiont the best and only way to do.

That is, a complex decision is always involved with uncertainty or depending on other events to happen, the best we could do is relying our decision on probability of the outcome.

When facing dilemma, it is almost up to the management whether they love taking risk to take a shot for big gain, or prefer playing safe with significantly less profit.

And financial aspect is not the only thing to be considered, an even greater impact could come from other aspects e.g. company image/reputaion, environment, legal. What tool could we use to compare the weight of something in figure like finance and something unmeasurable like reputation?

All in all, when it is too complex, the best decision by far is the one that is informed and does not contradict with organisation's integrity. Occam's razor principle can be of a help?

March 05, 2012

Due diligence

Robust decision making and Leadership

This is sort of what I was looking for to answer my question in Leadership module,...
I was always wondering when I heard good leader must make good decision,
and I was thinking how?....

what could leader possibly do the ensure good outcome,
what's a guarantee for that,
how would a leader make good decision everytime?
and is it about making a decision or managing the situation after that.....

then Jeff said,....good decision doesn't always lead to good outcome, but good decision is one that's best for that time being, and it's made based on information/facts/ appropriate tools, .........brilliant !!

Due diligence..... I think it is safe to say that leaders who did their job in the process of decision making but faced horrible outcome due to uncontrollable factors are considered better leaders than ones that made decision by their hunch or instinctively.

That's exactly leader's responsibility,...making sure that every decision is best made, thorough, and based on facts. is to take into account contingency,....make it robust.

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